Many of us will remember to celebrate Thanksgiving by having friends and family over for dinner. We will bake a traditional turkey and prepare multiple sides, including green bean casserole, mash potatoes, and cranberry sauce. And, we'll wash down our big meals with apple cider and a dessert course, consisting of pie and whipped cream. We will also tune in to watch the Macy's Day Thanksgiving Parade, a football game, or my personal favorite -- the National Dog Show. But, many of us will not take time to reflect on what Thanksgiving Day is really all about -- giving thanks.
I was recently reminded of a biblical account concerning giving and thankfulness. It's the story of the lepers. As you may recall, 10 guys were healed from leprosy by Jesus, but only one returned to say, "thank you." Do you think the other nine lepers were unappreciative?
I am sure that the nine lepers who failed to say "thank you" were incredibly grateful to be healed from this painful and disfiguring disease. But, maybe they were so awestruck and caught up in the miracle, that they simply forgot to take time to thank the person who gave them such an amazing gift. The thought of saying "thank you" completely slipped from their minds.
Forgetting to say "thank you" is nothing new. It happens all of the time. In fact, it's one of my biggest pet peeves, especially when it comes to gift-giving. I can't count the number of times in which I have sent a gift to someone and never received any type of acknowledgement, let alone a thank you note. We all learned how to say "please" and "thank you" at an early age, but in real life situations, we often forget to use these simple words -- or put pen to paper.
At times, I might be like one of the nine lepers who didn't say "thank you." I might be so caught up in the activities of life -- such as getting married, having a baby, or taking care of my baby -- that I have simply forgotten to say "thank you" for all of the blessings in my life.
Below is a list of ABC's in which I am thankful. This is list is not comprehensive by any means, but it's a start. As you celebrate Thanksgiving Day, I encourage you to reflect on the year, recognize all of the incredible blessings in your life, and express thanks.
A Preemie Mom's Thanksgiving Thankful List
A: Apnea machines, audiologists, adjusted ages, aunts, Amazon Mom, Amazon Prime
B: Blessings, Bentley (our amazingly patient and loving wonder dog), Bili lights, breast pumps, babbling, baby teeth, the Bob Stroller, the Boppy, the Bumbo, books, baptism, brother-in-laws, bottle feedings (especially when we meet volume goals), bibs
C: Craig (my wonderful husband -- who works hard so that I can stay-home to take care of Emily), cooing, CPAP machines (I hated it when Emily had a CPAP, but it helped her so much), car seats, cousins
D: Daughters, Dopplers, discharge papers, developmental specialists, developmental milestones, dieticians, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, diapers
E: Emily (my inspirational and heroic preemie who fought like crazy to enter the world), early intervention programs
F: Family, friends, flu shots, feeding tubes, feeding experts, first aid, Frying Pan Farm Park
G: Grandmas and Grandpas, God, giraffes (while I adore the animal, I mean the hospital bed), growth chart increases, gavage feedings, gloves
H: Hand sanitizer, hands-free breast-pumping bras, health insurance, heart rate monitors, hugs, our wonderful home, local hospitals, the Herndon Rotary Club (Our local Dolly Parton Imagination Library Affiliate), hand-me-downs
I: Inlaws (who are taking time to celebrate Thanksgiving with us), isolettes, the Internet (which has allowed me a blogging platform and introduced me to women across the globe with preemies and micro-preemies)
J: Jungle-themed play mat
K: Kangaroo care, kisses
L: Lactation consultants, lanolin, lullabies
M: My incredible mom (who flew cross country to be with me in the hospital, helped me recuperate from my c-section, and has been a constant support), meconium, monitors, middle-of-the-night feedings (Although waking up at 3 a.m. is no fun, I am thankful for the extra one-on-one time and am happy that Emily is hungry and interested in eating); other moms and preemie moms (who understand preemie issues), music, masks, mommy's nights out
N: The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, nurses, nurse practitioners, nutritionists, neurologists, Neosure, naps, nasal cannula, nasal aspirators
O: Obgyns, occupational therapists, oxygen therapy
P: Perinatologists, pediatricians, physical therapists, pediatric opthalmologists, pediatric gastroenterologists, Poly-visol with Iron, peripherally inserted central catheters, purées, puffs, poop (it reminds me that although Emily is a low-volume eater, she is eating)
Q: Quiet time, quarantine (although quarantine in the NICU sucked, it did protect Emily from illness and protected the other babies from anything Emily may have contracted)
R: Resources (such as the Graham's Foundation , the March of Dimes, and Preemies Today)
S: My super step-dad (who understands what it's like to have a sick child), sister-in-laws, stroller walks, social workers, Surfactant, Synagis, syringes, the ability to stay-at-home, a full night's sleep
T: Teething toys, Tdap vaccine, Target
U: Ultrasounds, uncles
V: Ventilators, vitamins
W: Wheelchairs, wipes
X: X-rays, xoxos
Y: You (my faithful readers!)
Z: Zoos, Zssss